tv [untitled] December 3, 2010 5:30am-6:00am PST
with a reporter, playwright discusses the relevancy of his work with one of his theatre critics. as part of the yearly 1 city one book event. fields questions from sm scott chauffeur. >> before writing the book you want to louisiana and did a lot of research. what reception did you get there? what obstacles did you find? well -- it depends on which decade you are talking about. i did research, actually starting in from the time i was very small. and we went back every summer even though i was born here in berkeley, as a matter of fact we went back every summer to louisiana and i was always interested and did a lot of -- um -- both formal and informal
research. starting in the 50's and the 60's. and i will tell you that when i first startd that research and a lot of the research i did in that time period was i was largely unaided by any official source. i would go to the courthouse and i would ask for records. they would not give them to me. it was just -- it was very clearly -- it was very clear they were not going to give them to me. >> what records were you asking for? >> i was looking for land records. i was looking for records of the fredues. the concept was there were black fredues and white fredues and there was not an acceptance of me setting out to prove they
were commingleded even though everyone knew they would. >> very southern. >> i wanted to make it contemporary times. doesn't anybody care, they took away our rights. is the constitution a piece of paper that means nothing that the president can sign another ask we lose our citizenship and they can do what the hell they want. it's wrong then and now and i don't care what kind of questionnaire it is i will yell it at the president, roosevelt, whoever, it was wrong and it matters. he says it has to matter. to me it's the speech i gave him was drawn from what's happening i think in the country right now in relationship to the war. who is considered patriotic who is considered a trader?
and the point of a play to me is that it isn't just the museum piece. that, in fact, it does have relevancy now. and that it does spark a certain amount of controversy in relationship to what goes on now. >> twice in the same day the auditorium was standing room only. new york times best seller crediting mortson came to talk about his book. cup of tea. . he talked about the penny for peace campaign. the provides education for the communities of pakistan and afghanistan. >> i came back to america, i was broke after k 2. i had to raise 12 thousand dollars. and i didn't know how a clue of how to raise money like that. i went to the local library.
any librarians here? let's give them a big hand. [applause] so, i went to the library, i talked to the librarian we looked up 580 cell rities and sports heroes. over 3 months i hand typed 580 letters and wrote dollar michael jordan and dear mr. stalone. guess what happened? nothing. at christmas i got a check from tom brocaw for a hundred dollars. i sold my car a buick for 500 dollars in a seedy area in
oakland. by spring i raised 200 dollars. my marth was a principal at an elementary school. she invited me to talk to the kids. when i was leaving a fourth grader looked me in the eye and said, i have a piggy bank at home and i will help you raise money for the school in pakistan. i didn't think anything of it. 6 weeks later the school is raised 65,000 penes. >> main stage's loud efts performance was about bief the detroit native high strung. they had an energyic performance. the concert was a plash back to the kinks and the who and tv shows like hala blue. ladies and gentlemen. the high strung. [music]
>> hope you enjoyed this look back at some of the entertaining guests that graced the stage of the main library. you can watch more highlights from main stage on you tube and new episodes on sfg. org. watch for more readings, speakers and performances during the next year. we leave you with a bonus performance from the high strung. and a thank you to everybody that made the last season possible.
>> i am very happy to be here. i feel very honored to have been asked to interpret this poem and make it a song. it's funny because something like two days before he asked me to do this, i was thinking to myself, i wonder what it would be like to write a song to the poetry. the reason i love the poem that we chose is because everything that i love in this poem, it's different, but, it has this magic in it and it's what you